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Work Zone: 1942

Work Zone: 1942

May 1942. Washington, D.C. "Wartime construction in vicinity of federal government buildings -- lower 14th Street improvement project. Construction of a bridge and road near Independence Avenue and 14th and 16th Streets. Steel piles to be driven as supports for bridge structure." Photo by John Ferrell for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Steel pilings are usually filled with grout/concrete and rebar. Pilings are not designed to rely on the wall strength alone for their ability to carry a load.

In addition, these are most likely friction piles, where they will be driven to refusal, but not necessarily to bedrock. The fluting will give greater surface area to the pile to aid in increasing the friction with the surrounding soil.

Taggers yet to be born.

No graffiti on the boxcars. Makes for a delightful view.

Could This Be It?

Washington DC was altered so radically by urban renewal during the 21st Century that guessing the locations of some Shorpy photographs can be a real challenge. I propose Maine Avenue at 14th Street SW, looking eastward:

Corrugated walls = less steel?

I'm conjecturing that fluting the walls like that allowed them to be thinner, an important consideration in 1942. But I wonder how well they'd hold up against rust.

Must be a huge cake

Those are the biggest candles I've ever seen.

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